Former CIA Officer Pled Guilty to Spying on Behalf of China

On May 24th, a former CIA officer pleaded guilty to “conspiring to gather and deliver national defense information” to China.

Alexander Yuk Ching Ma and a blood relative met with intelligence officers from the Shanghai State Security Bureau (SSSB) in Hong Kong in March 2001. During a three-day period, both individuals provided the officers “with a large volume of classified U.S. national defense information.”

The officers paid Ma’s relative $50,000 USD in cash, and both agreed to continue to help the SSSB. The FBI began an investigation into Ma by hiring him as a contract linguist with the FBI’s Honolulu Field Office to monitor his activities.

In February 2006, Ma convinced the relative to provide the identities of two individuals in photographs provided by the SSSB officers. Ma knew that the individuals’ identities “were and remain classified as U.S. national defense information.”

He also knew that the information would be used to harm the United States or to benefit China, but he “deliberately engaged in the criminal conspiracy” with his relative and the SSSB anyway.